None of This, and Only That


Sometimes, the Bible forbids one thing and demands something else in its stead. None of this, and only that. None of what? And instead of it, only what?

Here is an example from Paul in Ephesians 4:29. None of this: corrupting talk. And only what? Only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Paul uses the same pattern in Ephesians 4:14-15. No longer one thing. Rather, something else exclusively.

No longer what thing? No longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. And instead, what? Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head.

How do we avoid the thing to be avoided and be built up in the thing we are supposed to become? Paul answers that God gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.

And how shall the teachers and shepherds God sends be sharpened for their task? One of the answers is Bethlehem College & Seminary.

The board of trustees operates under this mission: “Under the authority of God’s inerrant word, Bethlehem College & Seminary exists to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ by equipping men and women to treasure Christ above all things, to grow in wisdom and knowledge over a lifetime, and to glorify God in every sphere of life.”

We are to glorify one thing, Jesus Christ, above all other things. To that end, the trustees gather three times a year from around the world and undertake to serve the school’s mission. The board met recently, the first such meeting under the new administration of President Joe Rigney, who attended via video on account of testing positive for COVID. All trustees re-signed the Affirmation of Faith, signed Conflict of Interest affidavits, elected officers for the coming year, thanked God, and honored Scott Rebney, who stepped off the board after years of service in order to give increased attention to other ministries. In addition to hearing a variety of reports about finances, recruitment, and advancement, the board approved a strategic five-year plan for the administration to implement.


Sam Crabtree, M.Ed.
Pastor for Small Groups, Bethlehem Baptist Church, North

  1. Pray that the Lord would use us to equip the students he sends us well that they may build up the Church.
  2. Pray that God would begin to bring us the right students to join us in the Fall of 2022. Our admissions and recruitment efforts are underway, and we are taking applications.
  3. Pray for Serious Joy: The 34th Bethlehem Conference for Pastors, which we will be relaunching in February 2022. Our theme is Gravity and Gladness in a Groaning World. Pray for both our preparation and the pastors who will be joining us.
  4. Pray for the full funding of the Serious Joy Scholarship for all our resident students.